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Hong Kong: ASTRI’s Smart Mobility and 5G Solutions

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The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) has developed a range of advanced technologies in 5G and beyond, focusing on smart mobility solutions to support global digital transformation initiatives such as smart city development and Industry 4.0. These technologies are designed to meet market demands and drive innovation across various industries. They were also showcased at Mobile World Congress Shanghai (MWC Shanghai) 2024.

Image Credits: ASTRI, Press Release

One key technology is ASTRI’s 5G Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) solution, which is essential for deploying mission-critical and time-sensitive applications. TSN enables the convergence of Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT) systems, facilitating the integration of industrial control systems, safety-critical applications, and enterprise IT infrastructure on a common Ethernet-based network. This integration enhances real-time performance, reliability, and flexibility, aligning with the vision of Industry 4.0. ASTRI showcases its TSN solution along with its developed TSN devices, including the software-based Device-Side TSN Translator (DS-TT) and TSN switch.

Another innovation is ASTRI’s 5G Fusion Positioning and Cloud Robotics system, which combines 5G location services with high-precision sensor positioning for seamless indoor and outdoor tracking. This system leverages 5G and cloud computing to enhance robotic systems, offering ultra-fast, low-latency, and highly reliable wireless connectivity. Computational tasks are offloaded to the cloud, providing scalability, flexibility, and cost efficiency. Human operators can remotely control and monitor robots, especially in hazardous environments.

ASTRI has also developed customised 5G private network solutions in collaboration with Anktion, tailored to meet the specific needs of enterprises, enhancing operations and productivity. These solutions include comprehensive services such as 5G private network design, deployment, and consultation. Successfully implemented for various government departments in Hong Kong, these solutions improve public safety and operational efficiency. Additionally, ASTRI addresses spectrum shortage issues with Radio Access Network (RAN) sharing solutions and has developed a customised 5G standalone millimeter-wave solution for remote control of tower cranes, facilitating smart construction sites.

In the realm of 5G Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN), ASTRI is advancing 5G base stations and core networks to support 3GPP Release 17 NTN features for satellite communications. This includes two hardware platform variants, one mainstream and one with chipsets designed and produced in the Mainland. Enhancements to the 5G core address NTN access challenges such as long propagation delays and mobility management, ensuring high-quality user experiences. ASTRI is also developing a configurable NTN terminal reference design that supports both Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) and Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites.

ASTRI’s Integrated Sensing and Communications (ISAC) technology leverages 5G expertise to integrate communications and sensing. The focus is on the ISAC base station physical layer design, including resource sharing, channel model implementation, and target detection sensing algorithms. A combined sensing and communications platform compatible with Wi-Fi, Ultra-Wideband (UWB), and 5G-advanced technologies has been developed. Current applications include in-cabin child presence detection and UWB digital keys for secure vehicle access.

The institute is also working on an ultra-low-power radio frequency (RF) transceiver chip for Internet of Things (IoT) applications compatible with NTN. This chip, designed with a novel ultra-low power architecture, significantly reduces power consumption and area. It supports the latest Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards and provides global satellite coverage for mobile and IoT applications such as remote tracking, pipeline maintenance, and smart agriculture.

In the field of Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CAV), ASTRI’s technologies include common interfaces and protocols, vehicle-road cooperative perception technology, a simulation platform, and a digital monitoring platform. These technologies support various vehicle types and enable the development of innovative CAV systems with C-V2X smart mobility roadside infrastructure. ASTRI collaborates with government and industry partners in the Greater Bay Area and beyond to advance CAV technology and its commercial deployment.

Finally, ASTRI’s Intelligent Optomechatronics for Smart Mobility includes a ‘Smart Optics’ technology platform that integrates illumination, sensing, and display elements. This platform’s key capabilities include multispectral imaging, neuromorphic sensing, RGBIR light communication, and learning-based Computer-Generated Holography (CGH). Applications range from real-time 3D reconstruction and CGH head-up displays to advanced situational awareness for both vehicles and roadside infrastructure.


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